Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Bright Star Next to the Moon (Memoir)

A memory of tucking my daughter in at bedtime:

My daughter was having trouble sleeping, so I put some music in the CD player for her, then turned on her bubbling pink lava lamp and tucked the covers around her. I got a new CD from WIC that was supposed to help babies sleep, so I was hopeful.

The problem?

The CD was passed out for “World Breastfeeding Week” and some of the songs had to do with breastfeeding…

“It’s all about breast milk, better than the rest milk, trickle down…”

“Hey Mom, bring it on…time to breast feed little me, it’s gonna make me strong and healthy!” 

My daughter, then 8 years old, probably didn't fully understand what breastfeeding is but she was totally grossed out anyways! Then she began to giggle uncontrollably. Instead of putting her to sleep with relaxing music, my daughter was WIDE awake. So I crawled into bed with her, and we spent the rest of the night laughing about that CD…she was making silly faces by pushing her lip out and making loud smacking noises. Another round of giggles. I tried to distract her but once she started laughing, she could not stop…and then everything was funny, and she started laughing all over again! She fell asleep that night with a smile on her face.

Every now and then she asks about that CD. I refuse to play it at bedtime (grin).

My baby has now grown into a toddler, he listened to that CD at bedtime today. I gazed out the window at that big star next to the moon and thought of my Baby Girl, how I miss tucking her in at night. I miss the prayers we shared, confiding in Jesus like a “bestie”.  I miss our dramatic Bible bedtime stories. My daughter would act out all the parts in the Bible stories, doing her best to tease her older brother. I miss the pink lava lamp with its half moon bubbles floating in dreamtime. I miss her fuzzy pajamas—flannel sleepers when she was little, how she looked like a pink teddy bear, and felt so warm cuddled in my arms. Now she wears the stylish pajama pants with frogs and hearts bouncing across the fuzzy fabric, and matching stretchy tees. I miss how her mouth moves in her sleep, as if she is reciting poetry. 

I miss making her breakfast in the morning, how she’d laugh about how tiny my pancakes are…they adorned her Winnie-the-Pooh plate like brown islands floating in a sea of maple syrup.

I miss doing her hair in the morning. I miss how I carefully brushed her long locks and passed the straightener through until her hair shone like burnished copper. I miss how she would peer into the mirror, her face pressed close to mine, as our eyes searched each other's reflection. I miss how she would get into my makeup, and chose the bright colors she wanted to wear that day. I miss how she would patiently wait while I applied glittery eye shadow to her almond-shaped lips and strawberry flavored lip gloss to her pouty lips. 

I miss the cute outfits she chose from her closet overstuffed with dolls and clothes, how she stole my clothes or high heels...and watching as this small, chubby toddler grew and grew until she gracefully began to fit into my clothes. 

And I miss bedtime, when we shared our closest talks, and no matter how hard I tried to put my foot down about a proper bedtime, somehow she always managed to stay up at least a few minutes later (or more), often giggling until she finally fell asleep. 

I miss everything about my Nora, and her brother, Bear. And tonight, when I look at that bright star next to the moon, my heart stretches out into the darkness like a comet, sending a hug to my children.

-- Daylen Swift

….Another night missing my children, we are separated due to an unjust (and illegal) custody ruling that is forcing me out of their lives without legal, or other, justification. This blog was created to express my love for my children, and to share meaningful pictures, letters, and prayers. #Grief  #Loss #Noncustodial Mom

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